Debunking common WordPress myths
When you’re just starting a presence on the world wide web, the options for building your website can be pretty overwhelming. After any real amount of research, though, it becomes pretty obvious that WordPress is one of the top choices.
The other thing that becomes pretty obvious is that a lot of people have objections to WordPress. But the thing is, many of those objections are based on myths and hearsay, and not reality.
At Flywheel, we love WordPress (no surprise!) and we think it’s the best option for most, if not all, websites. In light of that, let’s address some of the most common and pervasive myths about WordPress:
1. It’s just for blogs
This is pretty much the top objection anyone has about WordPress. It’s an easy misconception to pick up, especially when you’re just figuring things out.
Basically, there are two WordPresses. One is WordPress.com, and the other is WordPress.org. They’re the same idea, with one key difference: one is free, and one is “paid.”
With free WordPress (WordPress.com), you pay nothing for your website, and there’s very little you can do to customize it. It’s ideally suited for blogs because that’s how it started out, and that’s what it’s most known for. (These days any type of site can be built there, but for a while it was just for blogging.)
Then there’s what we call “paid” WordPress (WordPress.org). The weird thing is, when you opt for a paid WordPress site, you never actually “buy” WordPress. What you’re buying is a domain (also known as the URL) and hosting. You can buy a domain from a service like Hover, and hosting is what Flywheel takes care of!
(Not sure what domains and hosting are? Think of it this way: the domain is the web address, and the hosting is the place where your website lives. You can own a domain, but if you don’t also have hosting for it, your website won’t show up anywhere.)
2. It’s too complicated
This ties into the first objection, a lot of times. Once you’re clear on the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, it’s a lot easier to figure out what you’re trying to do. But if you’ve never made that distinction, then yes, it’s pretty complicated.
Some would-be website owners also get intimidated or turned off by a lot of the setup required for a WordPress site, let alone the design. Luckily, there are a few ways around this:
- If you’re working on one of your first WordPress sites and trying to get things figured out, you can “phone a friend” and learn by observation. This might mean getting in touch with an actual WordPress-savvy friend, but you could also turn to online tutorials from YouTube or Google to get you through the process.
- Look for a hosting company that has an automatic setup or “one-click installation” option. Most hosting companies have this, and it makes it really easy to get everything set up without any headaches.
- Some hosting companies (like Flywheel!) will get everything set up for you, so that all you have to do is get in there and make the customizations and updates you want.
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No matter what your struggle is, there’s a pretty easy solution. And if you choose a hosting company that has great customer service, you’ll have a whole team of allies standing by to help you out. It’s no longer the Wild West in Internet-land!
3. It’s not secure or stable
Because WordPress has been around for so long (since 2001!) and so many millions of people now use it for their websites, it has a big target on its back for hackers. But the reality is, big and small platforms alike are under attack on a regular basis. It’s not that WordPress is vulnerable or insecure – it’s just popular, making it a bigger target. Given the amount of attention that WordPress gets from would-be damage-doers, it’s actually very safe.
There’s another layer here that you need to know about, though. Your hosting company is another element in your overall security package. Depending on the quality of your hosting company, they can actually help boost your WordPress site’s security quite a bit, keeping it extra safe from pesky hackers.
Websites can go down because of too much traffic, too. But that has nothing to do with the strength or stability of your WordPress site, which is its own entity apart from your hosting. The responsibility for your site’s stability (or not crashing when you have something that goes viral) falls on your own development decisions and your hosting company’s ability to manage strong servers, not on WordPress. The site itself likely works just fine — but the ability to access it, maybe not so much. That’s why you’ve got to be careful and choose a reliable hosting company when it’s time to take your site live.
4. It’s not reliable because it’s volunteer-run
First of all, if you know that WordPress is run mostly by volunteers, you’re doing something right!
WordPress is what’s called Open Source Software, which means that anyone can work on developing it, any time. There’s no WordPress company that owns WordPress and controls how and when it gets updated, how much it costs, or anything like that.
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That said, one of the developers who first created WordPress (Matt Mullenweg) did create Automattic, a company whose mission is to make the web a better place by contributing to the WordPress community.
But there’s no 1-800 support number you can call when you have an issue.
For some people, this may seem like a drawback. But here’s why it’s actually awesome:
Because WordPress is open source, and because it’s so widely used and it’s been around for so long, there are hundreds if not thousands of developers who love it and devote their time and energy to make it as strong and solid as it can be. Improvements are constantly being made.
And no, you can’t call the customer support line, but you can easily access the many, many WordPress experts across the globe. There’s a robust WordPress community with an incredibly active forum full of people who know how to solve your exact problem.
There’s also this: If you get really stuck and you really feel like you need to speak with someone, you can always call your hosting provider. They’ve got WordPress experts, too, and odds are good that you’ll get the help you need (or at the very least, figure out what the issue is and where to find help with it).
What’s your biggest question when it comes to picking WordPress over something else for your website?
Thanks for the great post. I recently stumbled upon flywheel and its looks quite impressive Managed WordPress hosting platform.
Although i have spent bit of time to understand more about your company and your partnership with MaxCDN but i couldn’t find any reference to your underlying “Cloud Technology Provider”.
Is it Google or AWS or somebody else?
Thanks Anglo! Here’s a help doc with some information about our technology stack. If you have any more questions, our sales or support teams would be happy to help you out :)